Sleep Apnea, Your Brain, and Your DNA

Below are some interesting new findings regarding sleep apnea and the brain, and how your own personal DNA may determine your sleep patterns.

Sleep Apnea and Your Brain

First, new findings published in the Journal of Sleep Research show that those with sleep apnea have significant changes in two important brain chemicals that may impact their day-to-day lives.  “In previous studies, we’ve seen structural changes in the brain due to sleep apnea, but in this study we actually found substantial differences in these two chemicals that influence how the brain is working,” said Paul Macey, the lead researcher on the study and an associate professor at the UCLA School of Nursing, in a news release.  For more information about what they learned, click here.

Your personal DNA could affect your sleep patterns.

Your personal DNA could affect your sleep patterns.

Your DNA and How You Sleep

You might also be interested to know that your DNA may help determine whether you’re a night owl or an early riser. A study published in Nature Communications finds a link between some genes and circadian rhythms. Privately held genetics company sequenced the genomes of nearly 90,000 people. It isolated 15 types of genes that appear to be related to the human body clock.  To learn more about what they found, click here.

Brain Trauma and Sleeping Disorders

Finally, sleep disturbances including sleep apnea are frequently identified following traumatic brain injury, affecting 30%–70% of persons, and often occur after mild head injury.   The most common complaints are Insomnia, fatigue, and sleepiness.  But sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and periodic limb movement disorder may also occur.  Two types of traumatic brain injury that may negatively impact sleep are acceleration/deceleration injuries causing generalized brain damage and contact injuries causing focal brain damage.  For more information, click here.

If you or someone you know is in need of a better night’s sleep, contact us for a no obligation consultation. We are the sleep specialists at Chevy Chase ENT located in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. metro area dealing with sleep apnea and sleep-related problems.  We can help diagnose your condition, recommend whether a sleep study would be beneficial, and offer you a variety of treatment options including CPAPRadio Frequency Ablation (RFA) and more.